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  • [ March 6, 2013 ]
  • Monitoring Energy Savings at Iowa’s Newest LEED Platinum Building

BY KELLY MADSEN | IOWA ENERGY CENTER

Iowa Utilities Board and Office of Consumer Advocate Office Building, photo courtesy of iub.iowa.gov.

During Tuesday’s recognition ceremony, state leaders welcomed the Iowa Utilities Board and Office of Consumer Advocate Building (IUB/OCA) facility as the newest addition to Iowa’s growing LEED Platinum Certified building family.

Gov. Terry Branstad called the IUB/OCA building “a treasure for the Capitol Complex,” as it is Iowa’s first government agency building to be LEED Platinum certified, allowing the government to now lead by example in building energy efficiency. Moving forward with energy efficient leadership goals, the the Iowa Energy Center will be involved with monitoring and verifying the energy use in the new facility.

“As part of IUB/OCA’s commitment to energy efficient design, they have developed a measurement and verification plan,” said Xiaohui Zhou, Iowa Energy Center’s building energy efficiency program manager. “The plan asks the Iowa Energy Center to help compare the facility’s actual energy use to the designed energy use.”

For data analysis the Iowa Energy Center is collecting building energy data and will monitor it closely for one year. Since April 2012, the measurement and verification team has been collecting information every 15 minutes from over 1,000 data points in the building. With this information the team will be able to verify the effectiveness of energy efficiency strategies used in the IUB/OCA facility so energy saving strategies can be emulated in other facilities. The information will also help identify operational issues or successes that may otherwise go unnoticed.

“After one year of collecting actual operation data, we will create a case study for other groups interested in using similar energy efficient building designs,” Dr. Zhou said.

The Iowa Energy Center will continue to monitor building data for another four years after the initial first year report.

The 44,460-square-foot facility, located at 1375 East Court Avenue in Des Moines, Iowa houses more than 90 IUB/OCA employees. The office building is part of the Capitol Complex and is designed to use about 63 percent less energy for heating and cooling than a office building of similar size. The building features a long list of energy efficient features, but highlights a geothermal system and rooftop photovoltaic solar panels.

The Des Moines office of Berkebile Nelson Immenschuh McDowell Architects (BNIM Architects) of Kansas City, Mo. was the lead designer of the facility. The U.S. Green Building Council has established, and the Green Building Certification Institute has verified, that the building meets the highest international standard for leadership, innovation, environmental stewardship, and social responsibility.

The staff of IUB/OCA provides building tours to interested organizations and the general public.

Click here for more information on the IUB/OCA building, or here for information on Tuesday’s recognition ceremony.

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